Accuracy of Image-Guided Pedicle Screw Placement Using Intraoperative Computed Tomography- Based Navigation With Automated Referencing. Part II: Thoracolumbar Spine

Neurosurgery 69:1307–1316, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31822ba190

Image-guided spinal instrumentation may reduce complications in spinal instrumentation.

OBJECTIVE: To assess accuracy, time efficiency, and staff radiation exposure during thoracolumbar screw instrumentation guided by intraoperative computed tomography (iCT)-based neuronavigation (iCT-N).

METHODS: In 55 patients treated for idiopathic and degenerative deformities, 826 screws were inserted in the thoracic (T2–T12; n = 243) and lumbosacral (L1–S1; n = 545) spine, as well as ilium (n = 38) guided by iCT-N. Up to 17 segments were instrumented following a single automated registration sequence with the dynamic reference arc (DRA) uniformly attached to L5. Accuracy of iCT-N was assessed by calculating angular deviations between individual navigated tool trajectories and final implant positions. Final screw positions were also graded according to established classification systems. Clinical and radiological outcome was assessed at 12 to 14 months.

RESULTS: Additional intraoperative fluoroscopy was unnecessary, eliminating staff radiation exposure. Unisegmental K-wire insertion required 4.6 6 2.9 minutes. Of the thoracic pedicle screws 98.4% were assigned grades I to III according to the Heary classification, with 1.6% grade IV placement. In the lumbar spine, 94.4% of screws were completely contained (Gertzbein classification grade 0), 4.6% displayed minor pedicle breaches ,2 mm(grade 1), and 1% of lumbar screws deviated by.2 to,4 mm (grade 2). The accuracy of iCT-N progressively deteriorates with increasing distance from the DRA, but allows safe instrumentation of up to 12 segments.

CONCLUSION: iCT-N using automated referencing allows for safe, highly accurate multilevel instrumentation of the entire thoracolumbosacral spine and ilium, rendering additional intraoperative imaging dispensable. In addition, automated registration is time-efficient and significantly reduces the need for re-registration in multilevel surgery.